Qualcomm said it plans to sell the radio spectrum it acquired during India’s BWA spectrum auction. The official word is that they are not in the network building business and that they don’t want to compete with network operators, which may be their clients. The goal was to secure the deployment of LTE in the country.
“We bought this spectrum to make sure LTE (long term evolution) would get deployed in India. But we never expected to go into full operation of network,” Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs told Reuters at the G20 CEO Summit in Seoul, South Korea.
Qualcomm paid a total of $1.05 billion for four BWA licenses, which include the two key markets of Delhi and Mumbai. At the time, they said that the plan is to attract one or more experienced operator partners into the venture for construction of an LTE network and then to exit the venture. Mr. Jacobs was even quoted as saying: “Along with our ecosystem partners, we are now poised to accelerate the mobile broadband revolution with 3G HSPA, EV-DO and LTE to the benefit of all Indians.”
So what’s the deal here? My bet is that they’ve figured a (much) better way to spend their money (R&D perhaps?) and leave the “future of LTE” to those who directly care about it – network operators.